In Pregnancy

In the minds of many, pregnancy back pain is seen as a necessary evil; one to be accepted and endured by the unfortunate mother to be. Indeed, back pain during pregnancy seems to be something that so many think just comes along with pregnancy’ or ‘comes along with motherhood’. But, believe it or not, the truth is that pregnancy back pain does not need to be part of your life when you’re expecting a baby! 

 

Pregnancy Back Pain Prevention

You can prevent back pain during pregnancy, improve back pain during pregnancy, and–for many–completely get rid of postpartum back pain too! The expectant mother can take proactive steps to eliminate the chronic pregnancy back pain and discomfort that plagues so many expectant mothers. She can do so, furthermore, in ways that will strengthen, energize, and fortify her entire body and be in preparation for the big birth event. 

 

picture of woman stretching her pregnancy back pain

Pregnancy back pain does not have to come in the cards of the birth experience. An expectant mother can take many proactive steps to prevent, treat and alleviate back pain; to the benefit of her entire body. This will also make the birth experience much easier on you and the baby. 

 

Lower Back Pain During Early Pregnancy

Lower back pain during early pregnancy, and all of the aches and pains related to the process can be better sustained through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced nutritious diet. Get a full and good night’s sleep. Drink plenty of water. And–above all–exercise! By taking these three relatively simple but nonetheless essential steps, a good number of expectant mothers are experiencing more comfortable and relatively painless pregnancies, and almost no lower back pain during early pregnancy; something that many previously believed to be impossible. Yet before you achieve this rather substantial goal, you first must develop an understanding of your body; and, more specifically, of the various ways in which your body changes throughout the course of your pregnancy.

 

“There one key important thing you must realize when it comes to pregnancy back pain relief, and that is the true significance and importance of your deep core function.”

 

Pregnancy Back Pain Controlled by your Core

Let’s get to the core of this matter. Your deep core strength (which you can learn how to properly and safely strengthen your deep core with my Prenatal Membership here) and function is as important to preventing pregnancy back pain as it is to the maintenance of your well-being. Your core helps to give your body and spine the support it needs for your growing baby.

When we discuss the concept of core training, we are not referencing the type of basic ab workouts that tone the tummy for aesthetic purposes. We instead are referencing the exercises that specifically target your inner core muscles that run from your hips to your shoulders. Your core includes the entirety of your trunk, pelvis, glutes, and the ever-sensitive lower back. Your ribs, your spine, your diaphragm, the lower ribs are all part of the core. Your baby is also a part of your core for the duration of your pregnancy.

During your pregnancy, your core is holding and nurturing the growing fetus. Your abs are essentially hugging the infant, which is all the more reason to get to the ‘core’ of this issue–to improve and enhance your deep core function to prevent pregnancy back pain.

While it may seem like a ton of work to practice engaging your deep core, I can tell you it really will make all the difference in how your back (and the rest of your body) feels.

On a daily basis, most fitness conscious females make core training a pivotal facet of their overall workout. Regardless of her age or life situation, many women realize the importance of having a healthy and fortified core–both for looks and for life. For those that are caught up with the never-ending hustle and bustle of work, running a business, running a household, or all of the above, our core rehab and pregnancy workout membership workout plans will help you work exercise into your busy lives for just minutes a day. Don’t allow your busy lives to be the excuse for not preparing and preventing your body from a painful pregnancy and painful postpartum back pain that follow!

 

 

The core takes on a whole other and very important meaning when you are exercising for two. Indeed, whenever you undergo significant bodily changes, it is particularly important to power up and train yourself for preventing pregnancy back pain. And when you are carrying your baby, when you are preparing to undergo the always complex child delivery process, the state and sanctity of the bodily core takes on a whole new and particularly vital significance.

 

How to Prevent and Relieve Pregnancy Back Pain

Before we explore the many simple and practical ways that expectant moms can strengthen their inner core, let us first take a look at the many benefits of a flexible and empowered core:

 

  • postpartum back pain pregnancy back pain
  • A less painful pregnancy. Of course, no one can assure you a pregnancy experience devoid of pain and discomfort. Yet with the aid of this simple therapeutic plan, pregnancy back pain relief is a virtual certainty. You will feel the pain, the stiffness, the discomfort magically drain away; leaving in their place a stronger and revitalized core–exactly what you need to sustain a healthy and prosperous pregnancy.

 

  • Improved and enhanced posture. The inner core actually consists of postural muscles; key muscles such as the pelvic floor, the transversus abdominis (referring to the deepest layer of the abdominal muscles), and the deepest region of the lower back. So it stands to reason that, once you strengthen your inner core, you will be standing taller and stronger–most literally. Even during the final months of your pregnancy, as your baby bump may be on the verge of reaching nearly gigantic proportions (at least in your mind), you will be possessing of the stamina and vitality needed to ‘bear the bump’; to walk, sit and even lie with improved and enhanced posture. This is where pregnancy back pain can start to take a toll.

 

  • Minimize and alleviate your diastasis recti condition and the related “coning” of the belly. Rectus diastasis is a condition that affects thousands of pregnant women on a regular basis. Expressed visually in a small pooch near the stomach area, the condition is characterized by an abdominal weakness and a division of muscles in the mid-abdomen region. Diastasis recti (DR) occurs when the tissues that form a connection between each side of rectus abdominis undergo a thinning process. A weakened corset muscle can result in increased lower back pain, a protruding stomach, pelvic floor issues, and other physiological issues. Diastasis recti is a manageable condition; and the stronger you are physically, the better natural line of defense you will form against this condition.

 

  • Improve pelvic floor strength and decrease the likelihood of pelvic organ prolapse will help to prevent and relieve pregnancy back pain. Also a common postpartum condition, pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which the bladder, uterus, or intestines protrude downward through an opening in the pelvic floor. This condition expresses itself by way of pain and pressure in the pelvic region as well as prolonged and repeated incontinence problems. Much like diastasis recti and postpartum back pain, many people assume that pelvic organ prolapse is a natural part of pregnancy–with poor bladder control during and immediately in the wake of pregnancy being seen as a necessary evil. This simply isn’t true; and, if left untreated, pelvic organ prolapse can result in a circumstance in which one’s organs fall out of the body. This frightening aftereffect, and in fact pelvic prolapse in general, can be avoided through a vigorous and specially designed diet and exercise program; the same regimen of pregnancy back pain exercises, in fact, that we are now proposing to heal and address any number of pregnancy-related conditions. Incontinence is never welcome during pregnancy; but this is a problem that can be addressed and–ultimately–resolved.

 

  • Increase and enhance your energy during and after pregnancy. Have you ever noticed the way that people tend to patronize pregnant women? Always offering you a chair when you may have been standing erect for a grand total of 3.2 minutes? Always asking if you’re A-OK or if you need to rest a bit? Not trusting you to carry your own grocery or gym bag, or perhaps not even your purse? Perhaps not even a toothpick, dare we dream? Ordering you not to exercise, dance, play sports, or do anything much other than breathing inward and outward as you enjoy a steady diet of pickles and ice cream? Well as much as these invasive and frankly insulting questions might frustrate and annoy you, do your best not to judge the folks who pose them all that harshly. Not too harshly, that is. The fact is that these questions emanate from the commonly held stereotype that pregnant women are tired and weak; that they have little to no energy, that pesky little urchin in their tummy having zapped it right out of them. The fact is, though, that abject and excessive fatigue is not part and parcel of the postpartum experience. A solid exercise program, along with just the right diet, can do much to boost your energy. You can finally set aside any initial concerns you may have had about ‘slowing down’ during pregnancy; of missing work, of surrendering your social life, of ceasing any and all forms of exercise or sporting activity. You will find yourself thriving during this pivotal life phase; remaining active and energized as you continue to work and play to your heart’s–and body’s–content. You will amaze those around you and prove the naysayers wrong; proving to them once and for all that a pregnant woman is a productive one. And the healthier and more energized you are, all the better for your baby. And this leads us to….  

 

  • An easier and more expedient delivery and recovery process. No one ever claimed that the intricate process of delivering a baby is an easy and non-taxing one; many people claim that, in fact, if males had to have the babies then the human race would pretty much die out–post haste! Through the years, however, medical professionals have developed many and various ways to ease and facilitate labor and delivery. These include the administration of prescription drugs, natural childbirth techniques, Lamaze and other prepared childbirth techniques, etc. Yet again, perhaps the best and most ideal way to ensure a back pain-free pregnancy, smooth delivery and recovery process is to prepare your body through a steady and therapeutic regimen of exercise. You would exercise to prepare for a marathon, a long distance walk, a dance contest, or even a major social event. So of course, you may indeed find it in your best interest to ‘power up’ in preparation for one of the most important days of your life; the birth of your child. Just the right exercises will help you in particular with the pushing facet of the delivery. In addition, a strengthened and well-prepared body will bounce back more quickly from the challenging cycle of labor and delivery; ensuring a shorter recovery time. You’ll be back at work, at the gym, and at life in general in no time!
  • Achieve a toned and strengthened core, from your hips to your shoulders. As discussed, the core of your body has earned that moniker for a reason. Your inner core is like a central control system that commands the functioning of your movement, your wellness, your bodily functions, even your breathing. It’s always a good idea to improve and reinforce your inner core; and during pregnancy, it is absolutely imperative to do so. Far from just toning up the abs, our plan stands to tone up your body and life–for the good of your body, your baby, and your future. And, with the aid of this program, you can do modified planks throughout your pregnancy.

 

  • Improve your body confidence and enhance your body image. As joyous and exciting as it can be, the experience of pregnancy can pose a real challenge to a woman’s overall self-image. If a generally fit and active woman finds herself gaining weight, moving more slowly, or finding her body in other ways altered, then she may experience a crisis of confidence; no longer feeling as attractive, as athletic, or as spry as perhaps she once did. Yet if the expectant mother prepares and braces her body for the pregnancy experience, toning and strengthening her core in particular to prevent pregnancy back pain, then she is bound to feel more confident and delightfully self-assured. She will stand taller, look and feel better overall, move at a swifter and smoother stride, and appear fit as a proverbial fiddle–a glowing mom to be, indeed!     

Read more about why pregnancy is the best time to strengthen your deep core.image of woman laying on an exercise ball to relieve pregnancy back pain

And here, presented with vivid illustrations and step by step instructions, are some key exercises that strengthen your deep core to prevent and relieve pregnancy back pain. These fun and easy calisthenics will empower and reinforce the pelvic floor and surrounding core areas. So let’s get to it: Deep Core Activation/Kegels:

 

  1. Take a seat on an exercise ball or on a couch or pillow, or just sit Indian style on the floor :).  
  2. Sit up straight.
  3. Sit back and down on the exercise ball or soft surface.
  4. Exhale and perform a kegel; drawing the front and back of your pelvic floor together as you pull it upward.
  5. Gently lift and hold, while drawing your lower belly in an ‘in, up and around’ kind of motion; in effect ‘hugging’ your baby.
  6. Repeat this motion as you breathe in and out two to three more times. If you find that you cannot breathe easily, then you may be pulling back too tightly. Relax and proceed.
  7. Release completely. You should feel your body once again sinking into the comfort of the medicine ball.

picture of two women exercising to prevent pregnancy back pain

Repeat this essential and easy to perform deep core exercise five to ten times per day, until you indeed feel that you can engage your deep core muscles on a regular basis. Eventually, these muscles should engage on their own accord, without you activating or even contemplating them; thus poised, primed and ready to support your baby–and you, for that matter, to prevent pregnancy back pain as you continue to prepare for delivery.

Aside from being a splendid and effective exercise on its own, this superior core exercise is also a great warm-up maneuver that will prep and prime your body for other exercises–and, at the risk of sounding totally repetitive–for childbirth! Indeed, this exercise activates and strengthens muscles; thus permitting you to advance to more complex exercise maneuvers. And, of course, this is one exercise that you’ll want to continue long after the baby is born to relieve pregnancy back pain if you are experiencing any!

For more information, please visit

 http://knocked-upfitness.com/strengthening-your-deep-core/

 

picture of pregnant woman sitting on an exercise ball with weights over her head

  1. Your pregnancy posture

No matter how healthy you are, the elongated process of pregnancy and childbirth is sure to be a challenging one. And yes, pregnancy can bring about some incredible postural changes and stiffness, not to mention decrease your range of motion as pregnancy progresses. This is pretty much unavoidable; you are, after all, carrying around quite a bit of extra weight and undergoing quite a few physiological changes. Yet again, you can keep your posture during pregnancy from deteriorating. You don’t have to accept poor posture as part and parcel of pregnancy; you have the power to most literally stand tall and proud, even during the final months prior to delivery. It may shift slightly, but that doesn’t mean it has to cause pain and severe discomfort…

Beyond the realm of exercise, you can take some everyday, common sense steps to enhance your pregnancy posture. You can, for example, avoid locking your knees when you sit and maintain sound pelvic posturing. Stand, move and sit tall, lengthening through your head. Even your manner of breathing affects your posture, as you can most literally enhance your stance by breathing deeply into your sides and the back of your ribcage.

Read more here about the correlation between and importance of posture and core function: http://knocked-upfitness.com/importance-posture-core-function/

 

 

Prenatal Back Pain Release Exercises

Number 1 and 2 in my professional opinion (I’ve been working with prenatal women for 14 years and–on a personal note–have 3 littles of my own) are the MOST important when it comes to pregnancy back pain prevention; minimizing and getting rid of back pain during pregnancy, and life as a busy mama. BUT, there are some incredible pregnancy back pain release exercises I also recommend you do, because they can power you up to help you feel more energized and say ‘bye-bye’ to back pain (and, for that matter, neck pain, hip pain, etc.)

And, as an added bonus, these exercises are fun and easy to do. So let’s get on a roll!:

picture of a mother foam roller to relieve pregnancy back pain

Foam rolling glute and wiggle release is intended to relieve postpartum back pain. These areas tend to be burdened and overstressed during pregnancy, your lower back in particular.

 

 

  1. Take a seat on your foam roller with your feet planted in front of you.
  2. Walk forward until the foam roller is positioned against the flat lower region of the back (the low back upper glute or sacrum area).
  3. Relax your shoulders and hips and wiggle your hips into the foam roller for a period of 30 seconds.
  4. Roll over onto your side until the foam roller is beneath your hip.
  5. Roll forward and backward against the region of your lower hip and upper buttocks venturing upward into the glute area, thus also releasing tension in those sensitive areas.
  6. Roll over onto the opposite hip and repeat this action.
  7. Roll over onto your back with the roller once again beneath you, sliding back and forth to work the area just above your tailbone.
  8. Roll forward again until you stand smoothly and easily off of the roller, standing up with care.
  9. Feel the tension ease away from your body as you step forth, stronger and more flexible.

This exercise is ideal for pregnant women, as it targets those areas that tend to be burdened and stressed throughout the course of this nine-month period.

For a demonstration of the foam rolling glute release exercise, please visit.

You always knew that the birth of your child would be a joyous and heartfelt time; now you know that it also can be a time of strength and vitality. Ready to get started? For your step-by-step instructions on how to strengthen your deep core, release and relax your deep core, prevent and relieve pregnancy back pain, maintain good posture, learn lots of release exercises, get workout videos and access to your Knocked-Up Fitness® Coaches, start your Knocked-Up Fitness® Membership today!

 

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Showing 3 comments
  • Progenesisivf
    Reply

    Very informative article. It is important to stay active during pregnancy. The moderate exercises under the guidance of healthcare specialist can help to reduce the pregnancy discomforts such as constipation, back pain, swelling etc. Exercise also helps to improve the mood and help for a better sleep. Healthy diet and exercise can help you have a healthy pregnancy.

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